An Opportunity to Comment on PR Measurement Standards, Maybe

I was excited to read in a recent PRSA press release that the  The Coalition for Public Relations Research Standards has added information to its website to “facilitate the development and adoption of industry-wide standards for public relations research and measurement.”

The press release continues: “The Web pages, available at, will allow public relations professionals and other interested parties to review and comment on proposed and interim standards. The proposed standards then will be reviewed by a panel of public relations thought leaders before being adopted as interim standards for the industry. Initial topics available for comment are communications lifecycle, social media measurement and traditional media measurement.”

Unfortunately, the promise was not delivered when I visited the site.

I hope the IPR website is a valuable tool to the organization, because it fell short for me as a practitioner who was hoping to review the proposed standards and perhaps comment on them. After all, that’s exactly what the press release says is the intended purpose of the new web pages.

What I found is a site with tiny grey type that is hard to read. There is a slider that calls attention to itself that shows two proposed standards. (I thought, “is that all?”) Then there is a welcome message; I thought that the notion that the  content for a home page was a welcome message ebbed about 10 years ago. Finally, I think, at the bottom of the page, I found links to three committees and some additional proposed standards.

The content about each standard is presented in an awkward format that makes me wonder who it was written for. (Example:

What I didn’t find is any call to action to me as the visitor to 1) review the standards (interesting that the main navigation doesn’t have “standards” or “proposed standards” as an option) or 2) comment on the proposed standards.

Sorry to be cranky about this, but I have to believe I am not the only one who wanted to learn from this site and contribute to this effort, but am only left scratching my head.

Let me know if there is value here that I missed.


One thought on “An Opportunity to Comment on PR Measurement Standards, Maybe

  1. Jill,
    To begin, as chair of the Coalition for Public Relations Research Standards let me say that we do appreciate your interest and commentary. Your comments about what are Web site design are being incorporated into our next updates. The proposed standards should be easy to access, read, and comment upon.

    As to the proposed standards themselves, some will be of more general interest. For example, the “communications lifecycle” standards explain how to measure the cognitive changes resulting from a communications program in terms of seven: (1) awareness, (2) knowledge, (3) interest and relevance, (4) relationship, (5) intent and preference, and (6) advocacy. The standard defines each concept, and delivers specific survey questions for use by practitioners.

    Our forthcoming standard on ROI measurement will also be of broad interest, as will the social media standards.

    Other standards will be very technical, particularly those in traditional and social media analysis. Be assured that these initial standards were identified as important by leading experts in media measurement and social media analytics. The standard you cite, “item for media analysis,” is one example. The definition and specifications are written so that a media measurement team can implement the measurement in a consistent fashion. As a PR practitioner, you should expect media measurement firms with which you partner to adopt these standards. Likewise, if you have an agency team working on media analysis, they should use these standards rather than re-invent the wheel when doing a media measurement project for a client.

    In terms of the call to action, there is a menu selection “How you can be involved” on the left of the page. This will be more evident in the future.

    Please keep looking as we roll out the social media measurement and ROI standards in the coming months.